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Education (Amdt.) (No. 2) Bill

Tuesday, May 02, 2000

But look trouble! Mr. President, we have to be careful when we give this type of authority to people who are comprising a board. We have to be very careful. We will run into problems with the unions, the teachers; we will run into problems with everybody, so let us be careful.

I think Sen. Rev. Teelucksingh mentioned the problems under (e) so I would not go over them.

I looked at (p):

"by making recommendations for the better performance of the school to the Minister through the Permanent Secretary;"

Mr. President, I could tell you, 90 per cent of the recommendations for the better performance of the schools have nothing to do with the school plant, disposal of garbage, more water and more electricity or anything else; it has to do with curriculum, teacher commitment, dedication: all that type of thing. [Desk thumping] Professional work for the implementation of the school has absolutely nothing to do with that. If you say this, the denominational schools could close down, because the government schools are far superior in their plant than these schools and they are trying to do it. I think that we have to be very careful about the recommendations for the better performance of the school. When it comes to the physical plant, we could talk about the board, but when it comes to the professional side of the operation of the school, that should be the principal, the teachers and their school supervisors.

4.50 p.m Finally, (q) which says:

“in taking such other action which may redound to the benefit of the school.”

Mr. President, for the life of me, I do not know what that means. Can you imagine that? I would not like to know that we give that authority in such a broad blanket way to some people who could be very irrational. Some people with no discretion, especially if they do not like the principal of the school, they would create confusion. We know what the Minister means, but once it is written, there are people who will take it literally and this is what we should try to avoid. I know that the intention is good.

There are boards in the denominational schools. I have sat on boards, even private boards like our school for the handicapped, and as soon as they made us an assisted school under the education division they cut the telephone lines for the

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